Pre-eclampsia linked to higher lifetime CVD risk

Women who have an eclamptic pregnancy are still at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) up to 30 years later, a US study has found.

Levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP), were found to be twice as high in post-menopausal women 30 years after they had an eclamptic pregnancy as they were in women who had a normal pregnancy, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh told the 53rd ann-ual meeting of the Society for Gynecologic Investigation in Toronto, Canada, last week.

The results were based on data from 25 Icelandic women with prior eclampsia and 28 Icelandic women with normal pregnancies, adjusted for age, weight, smoking and use of HRT.

Lead researcher, assistant professor Carl Hubel, said that pregnancy outcome was 'a natural early stress test' for predicting CVD risk.

'We propose that prior pre-eclampsia, particularly severe pre-eclampsia - be considered as a red flag to identify women of reproductive age who stand to benefit from cardiovascular risk modification,' he said. 'If we can identify these differences during a woman's reproductive years and intervene early and aggressively, we might be able to impact her future risk.'

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